CompuLab's soon-to-be-released inexpensive ARM-powered Utlite PC can run Android or Ubuntu.
Cheap, low-end PCs -- such as the Raspberry Pi and Parallella -- have become quite popular with do-it-yourself fans. Now, CompuLab, an Israeli computer OEM, is throwing its hat into the ring with its $99 Utilite mini-PC, which might also serve businesses well.
Unlike the $25 bare-bones Raspberry Pi PC, the Utilite will come in a paperback-book sized, 5.3-inch × 3.9-inch × 0.8-inch container.
It also boasts far more processing power. The Utilite, which will start shipping in August, is powered by a Freescale i.MX6 system-on-chip with a single, dual, or quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor running up to speeds of 1.2GHz.
This miniature computer can hold up to 4GBs of Double data rate synchronous dynamic random-access memory DDR3 RAM. For storage it can come with up to a 512GB mini-Serial ATA, Solid-State Drive (SSD). The front-panel micro-SD socket supports Secure Digital extended Capacity (SDXC) cards with up to 128GBs of room.
For video output, the Utilite uses High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) 1.4 and a second Digital Video Interface-Digital (DVI-D) port. Both display outputs support resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 and can be operated in dual-head mode. 5.1 channels audio is available through HDMI and through Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format (S/PDIF). In addition there are standard 3.5mm jacks for stereo line-out and line-in.
To connect it with your network and other devices, the Utilite comes with a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports and built-in 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It includes four USB 2.0 ports: two on the back and two on the front. It also has a mini RS232 connector.
Users will have their choice of Android or Ubuntu Linux for their operating system. CompuLab has experience in delivering Linux-based systems with its Mint-based MintBox line. No further operating system details are available at this time.